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How Long Can You Keep Udhiyah Meat?

29 June, 2023
Q As-salamu `alaykum. Is it permissible to preserve some meat of one's Udhiyah (sacrificial animal in Eid Al-Adha) until after the Eid? In other words, is it right in the viewpoint of Islam that one preserves the meat of the Udhiyah beyond three days?


Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

The majority of scholars are of the opinion that it is permissible to preserve the meat of udhiyah beyond three days. 

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In his response to your question, Dr. Husam al-Din Ibn Musa Afana, Professor of the principles of Islamic jurisprudence at Al-Quds University, Palestine, states the following, 

According to the authentic Hadiths, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) forbade that the Muslims preserve the meat of Udhiyah. But then he (PBUH) allowed it. This means that the prohibition of preserving the meat of Udhiyah was abrogated; and so do believe the majority of scholars. 

Below are some of these hadiths: 

  • Abdullah ibn Abi Bakr reported on the authority of Abdullah ibn Waqid that Allah’s Messenger forbade (people) to preserve the meat of sacrificial animals beyond three days.

Abdullah ibn Abi Bakr said: I made a mention of that to Amra, whereupon she said: He [Abdullah ibn Waqid] has told the truth, for I heard Aishah, Mother of the Believers, say, “The poor among the people of the desert came (to the towns) on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha during the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger.

Upon that Allah’s Messenger said; ‘Retain with you (the meat) sufficing for three (days), and whatever is left out of that give in charity.’ 

After this, the Muslims said; ‘O Allah’s Messenger, the people make waterskins with the (hides) of their sacrificial animals and they melt fat out of them.’ Thereupon he said; ‘Why so?’ They said, ‘You forbade (us) to eat the flesh of sacrificial animals beyond three (days).’

The Prophet then said; ‘I forbade you for those (poor persons) who flocked (to the towns on this occasion for getting meat) but now when (this situation has improved) you may eat, preserve and give in charity.’” (Muslim)

  • Salamah ibn Al-Akwa (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that he Prophet (PBUH) said, “Whoever has slaughtered a sacrificial animal should not keep anything of its meat beyond three days.” When it was the following year the people said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Shall we do as we did last year?” He (PBUH) said, “No. In that year the people were having a hard time and I wanted you to help (the needy).” (Al-Bukhari)
  • Abu Said Al-Khudri quoted Allah’s Messenger as having said, “O people of Madinah, do not eat the meat of sacrificial animals beyond three days.” The Muslims then complained to the Prophet that they had children and servants of theirs (to feed), whereupon he (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Eat, feed others, and store [of your Udhiyahs].”(Muslim)

There are many other hadiths reported to that effect. Accordingly, the majority of scholars are of the opinion that it is permissible that people preserve the meat of Udhiyah beyond three days.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.